Posted in parenting

A crazy mother and a crow feather

“Mummy. See.”

Meow, my two year old daughter, came running towards me with a curious looking thing in hand. It was her first time spotting it in the neighborhood. She was delighted. I doubled her joy by blowing that thing softly away from her hands and up in to the air; it made a brief poetic flight before ascending gently near her feet. I know that many more of these will be spotted, treasured and traded by her, just like I did when I was a little above her age. But this first acquaintance is something that I wanted to capture and cherish till eternity, in both our memories; so, I photographed it. I am unsure if she will be as lucky as I am now, when she has a daughter herself.

I’ll tell you why.

The thing she spotted was a fluffy feather. The reason why I felt concerned and ventured so far into the future was because it belonged to a crow. When I was in primary school and took interest in feather spotting, the most frequently spotted feathers belonged to sparrows. Though they were not interesting or colorful, they were abundantly strewn all over the place; in the yards, behind the pendulum wall clocks, window sills, sun shades and even inside our uniform shoes. But I myself have hardly seen any in the recent past. Not just the sparrow feathers, I am unable to locate those of parrots, mynas,  pigeons or kingfishers either.

I wonder if Meow’s daughter to be from the future would spot any feathers at all. At this rate, looks like the closest feather like thing she’d spot might belong to cockroaches; the only species resistant to extinction from any urban sprawl (or earth shattering meteorites for that matter). It would not be a pretty sight worth capturing, no?

That my dear readers is what I am worried about.

 

Isn’t it high time we embraced teeny tiny rooftop bird sanctuaries ?

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Posted in parenting

Walkie Talkie

If you are not the reincarnation of that telephone operator from WWII Nazi Germany, please read on; for those are the only ones who might have risked their life for not answering the damn phone every time it rang.

It is not a cardinal sin if your phone goes unanswered in this millennium, especially when you have other important and interesting things to do. Like paying for broken stuff at cosmetics counter while your toddler grins at you like Marty from Madagascar.

Frequently, I have observed that even though the parent holds the toddler’s hands while talking on the phone, the entire focus is not on the child. It is quite natural for a human being to have a split focus while multi-tasking. But beware that this provides a lapse in your firm hold and the child, waiting for this moment, frees the grip in an instant and flees as though he/she is on roller skates. You would be baffled to realize that the health drink you give them actually works exactly like in the advertisement. And when that happens, our rusty and squeaky joints will be no match to their swiftness. It is mostly fine when this happens indoors but imagine yourself on the sidewalk of a busy road and your toddler decides to run perpendicularly; I’d rather not.

So, when you are out with your kid and the phone rings, do take a moment to check if you have your toddler/preschooler up in your arms; even better, don’t pick the phone until you reach somewhere indoors or strap them in a car seat if you aren’t expecting any urgent calls. The call you are itching to answer will most likely be from that shameless, attention seeking friend who wants to brag about her column getting published(Yes, yes, that was me). A different ring tone just for the family/important colleagues might actually come in handy while segregating which ones to pay attention to.

Despite all this, if that urge to answer the phone at the slightest hint of a call emerges again and again; signing up for a short term contract as a call center representative might be a good idea. For, next time a phone rings, you might pick your skirts/pants and run in the opposite direction.

 

Posted in childing, parenting

Childing, Parenting and Dictating

Childing is when your toddler tries to doodle on the laptop screen assuming it would respond to touches like the Ipad.

Parenting in my opinion is to doodle along with her on the laptop screen and create an imaginary painting; not telling her that the screen is unresponsive – she will learn that herself. When she learns that, the doodling will stop automatically.

Asking her to take her to stop doodling without giving her a reason is dictating.

Sometimes it is okay to dictate. For example: When you are done doing a hundred such imaginary paintings and she is still not bored of it; at this point you might want to use a little dictating and get her a cheap third hand laptop that does not run.

Remember, dictating moderately and at the right times is the key to parenting(as well as to writing, governing, diplomacy and a dozen other radical things that change the world).

The more confident a dictator you are , the less you will be considered a dictator by your child. She will worship you as the almighty who can silence her at times for no apparent reason.

Go ahead, try some.

 

 

Posted in meow, parenting

How to train your Meow

Toddlers never do anything we order them to do. Take my word for that. They pay attention to something only when it is mutually beneficial for the both of you. And then at times, they don’t pay attention at all, period. But it’s okay. She is a toddler, not a broker.

Meow will never agree to shower if I tell her she needs to get rid of all  the germs from her body or she might fall ill. However she will grin like a Stanley Ipkiss with a mask if I tell her that showering also means playing in water and making soap bubbles.

Same goes for cleaning up after eating. If I tell her she needs to place her plate in the sink after eating because it is good manners, she’ll most certainly go “No no no no no no”. But when I say throw it in the sink and you can hear a “clang”, she’ll run to the kitchen like her life depends on it.

Brush your teeth – “No no no no no no no no”. Care to eat some fluoride free strawberry flavored tooth paste ? Hell yeah.

Come lets read a book – “No no no no no no no no”. Do you want to tear pages off it? You know the drill.

Yet, there are some days when he/she will chose to just stick with her “No” no matter what sugar coated goodies you offer.

The best part of this drama is when such a day occurs at school in front of the tiger/ helicopter/ bullet train moms who are bragging about how obedient and perfect their preschooler is; all it takes for them is just a raised eyebrow and a fraction of a second. Yours might not pay heed even if your eyebrows are stuck at the top of your head for rest of the month. You would be forced to wish for your child to magically turn into Noddy (I mean literally nodding for everything you say).

I have wondered many a time of a life where Meow was like their children. No matter how many times I wonder, thoughts converge at this point: “This blog would not have surfaced.”

Your toddler rebelling in front of others might feel like an Ostrich moment*,  but come to think of it, this is actually a very subtle sign of your toddler’s shoe size getting bigger.

Be proud momma, you’ve done a good job.

Not that one should neglect a child’s disobedience but one should accept that sometimes they behave like that for a reason and the reason is that they don’t need a reason – they are toddlers after all.

*Ostrich moment: Feeling like burying your head to hide from the world.

 

 

Posted in money, parenting, sibling

Ostrich Momma’s empty pocket

Having to hide the younger sibling’s nonchalance from the father is easily the single most annoying yet inevitable act in an elder sibling’s miserable life.

Throw in the innocence of a two year old and you will be forced to do that long impending investment on an over-priced barren land to bury your head like Meow’s new favorite bird – the ostrich.

The other day I was having a heated argument with my mother about my brother’s callous attitude. I usually ensure my father doesn’t get to know about it because, you know, fathers are fathers. Meow was sitting along with us, sipping orange juice from her bottle and pretending to read a book upside down.

Suddenly she said “Tha tha…………” (Grandpa). My father was heading down from the room upstairs.

We were startled, stopped our argument at once and literally thanked Meow for notifying us. She grinned. We should have sensed it as a sign; but we were too busy applauding her observation skills.

She then gestured him to sit beside her. When he inquired me about the topic of our argument (He had apparently heard us albeit not clearly), I said “It was about Meow” and Meow promptly interfered with a “No no no no. Tha tha See”. My brother’s name is Sri (See in toddler-tongue).

I started counting my savings at once. Should this continue, my pockets would promptly go empty in buying acre after acre to bury my head.

I honestly wish she gets more homework from school. Preschools these days .. what do I tell you!

Posted in meow, parenting

Trampoline on Ipad

 

  • Scrub the floor clean with tooth paste – Check
  • Empty water bottle on the tiled floor – Check
  • Try to shove pastel crayons inside accidentally open power sockets – Check
  • Leave lego bricks all around the hall so Momma can yell “Ouch” at periodic intervals – Check
  • Pile up pillows, reach window sill and open velcro from insect guaze – Check
  • Snatch biscuits offered to guests at home as if Momma made you starve the whole day (Throw biscuits away at other times) – Check
  • Go around the house half naked, upper half on Monday, lower half on Tuesday and so on – Check
  • Throw a tantrum for wearing stinking, soiled pants – Check
  • Imagine a trampoline on Ipad- Check
  • Hide mobile phones inside dustbin – Check
  • Pay absolutely no attention when Momma tries to stop you from doing further mischief – Check

Meow’s autonomy.

Posted in insects, meow, parenting

Insects for lunch

Parenting experts say that the best way to build trust with your child is to practice what you preach. While I managed to refrain myself from being hypocritical in my last post, this one did not quite go that well.

You see, when you are nearing thirty and being around a toddler most of the time, something goes wrong with your hormones and you tend to act more feminine than ever. Sometimes you want to wear that pink lipstick which has been lying around instead of the usual nude shades. Or spend a fortune on a new haircut that makes you look like a zombie. In similar lines, I suddenly had this urge to bake Meow’s third birthday cake since there was ample time left to learn(read 9 months). But I quickly realized I was better off watching them being baked on TLC than to fight with the flour and the dough eating cat I have at home, all at the same time.

One afternoon, I moved away from the television right after Rachel Allen’s cake diaries, to prepare lunch for Meow. I left her unsupervised, periodically calling out her name to check she was on the couch and hadn’t moved. I wrongly assumed TLC couldn’t go beyond cakes or large hotel rooms (and may be bikinis which she would quickly disapprove saying “puppy shame”). The show that followed was amusing alright, but back then I had no idea how it would back fire on me. She on the other hand, leaned back on the couch, crossed her legs and enjoyed every bit of it, both the show and the consequence.

When I came back with her lunch in a bowl and a spoon in hand, she closed her mouth with both her palms and said “No ma. Please”. I told her that a small girl on TV ate “Mumum”(food) and so Meow should also eat Mumum . She promptly opened her mouth when I said “Aaaaa” and gulped down a spoon full.

What followed was the scariest moment of my life. After gulping down the food, she went straight to the yard like a winded up toy, brought in a dead beetle the size of a pea, almost shoved it into my mouth and said, “Boochi aaaaaa”.

Apparently, TLC was showing someone travelling around Cambodia after the cake show. Meow particularly recalled the segment where the host ate some insect delicacies popular there and compared it with the little girl eating “Mumum”.

If she is supposed to eat “Mumum” because a little girl on TV did so, then Amma is supposed to eat insects because some one like Amma on TV did so. No ?

P.S.: The thing I have drawn in place of the beetle is not pea-sized on scale, I agree. Please bear with my squiggling skills.